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Viral Claim About Haj Subsidy Being More Than Chandrayaan-3’s Budget Is False!

The Haj subsidy was scrapped in 2018, and its amount was Rs 685 crores only in 2011.

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WebQoof
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Following of the launch of the Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) Chandrayaan-3 lunar exploration craft, social media users began sharing a claim regarding its budget, relating it to the subsidy provided for Haj pilgrims.

What are users claiming?: Social media users are claiming that the budget for Chandrayaan-3 was Rs 615 crores, whereas the government's annual budget for the Haj pilgrimage subsidy is Rs 685 crores.

The Haj subsidy was scrapped in 2018, and its amount was Rs 685 crores only in 2011.

An archive of this tweet can be seen here.

(Source: Twitter/Screenshot)

(Archives of more claims on social media can be seen here, here and here.)

But...?: The Haj subsidy was scrapped in 2018, and the figure shared in the viral claim shows the subsidy amount in 2011.

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How did we find out?: On 16 January 2018, the Central government announced that the subsidy provided to Haj pilgrims – who travel to Mecca in Saudi Arabia – had been scrapped.

  • We came across other news reports by NDTV and The Wire about the subsidy being scrapped, which were published in January 2018.

What was the amount for the subsidy before it was scrapped?: We then used relevant keywords to look for details about the amount allotted for this subsidy, which led us to a document on the Ministry of Civil Aviation's website.

  • It showed the total subsidy for Haj pilgrims from the year 1994 to 2017.

  • We noticed that the amount mentioned in the viral claim – Rs 685 crores – was the total subsidy given in 2011.

The Haj subsidy was scrapped in 2018, and its amount was Rs 685 crores only in 2011.

In 2011, the total subsidy for the Haj pilgrimage was Rs 685 crores.

(Source: Ministry of Civil Aviation/Altered by The Quint)

  • Months after the Centre rolled back the Haj subsidy, the Tamil Nadu government announced a subsidy of Rs 6 crores for Haj pilgrims in July 2018, reported The Economic Times.

  • Next, we looked for subsidies given for other pilgrimages in India.

Was Haj the only subsidised pilgrimage?: No. While the Centre does not grant subsidies for pilgrimages, several states give subsidies for different yatras to Hindu pilgrims.

  • In July 2022, the Karnataka government announced cash assistance of Rs 5,000 to 30,000 pilgrims in the form of direct benefit transfer (DBT) to Kashi Yatra pilgrims travelling to the Kashi Vishwanath Temple in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

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  • In May 2017, the Gujarat government announced a Shravan Tirth Darshan Yojana which allocated four crore rupees for senior citizens travelling to major and minor pilgrimage sites in the state by bus. It mentioned that those availing the scheme would get a 50 percent concession for bus fares.

Financial assistance for the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra: We also came across a tweet from the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minster's Office's verified account, which said that CM Yogi Adityanath had announced financial assistance of one lakh rupees for the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra.

  • Similarly, the Rajasthan government offered one lakh rupees in financial assistance to 100 pilgrims for the same yatra, which would be given after the completion of the pilgrimage in 2019.

  • In 2006, the Madhya Pradesh government too announced that it would reimburse 50 percent of the cost incurred (up to Rs 30,000) for the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra's pilgrims.

  • The Haryana government also provides financial assistance for this yatra, along with the Sindhu Darshan and Swarn Jayanti Guru Darshan yatras, after completion.

The Haj subsidy was scrapped in 2018, and its amount was Rs 685 crores only in 2011.

The National Government Services Portal's website shows several subsidies by the Haryana government.

(Source: National Government Services Portal/Screenshot)

Lastly, the Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana state governments also provide subsidies or financial assistance to Christian pilgrims travelling to Jerusalem.

Conclusion: The claim that the Haj pilgrimage's annual budget exceeds Chandrayaan-3's budget is false, as the subsidy was scrapped in 2018. Moreover, the amount of Rs 685 crores mentioned in the viral claim was the subsidy amount only in 2011.

(Not convinced of a post or information you came across online and want it verified? Send us the details on WhatsApp at 9643651818, or e-mail it to us at webqoof@thequint.com and we'll fact-check it for you. You can also read all our fact-checked stories here.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  ISRO   Webqoof   Haj Pilgrimage 

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